Have you ever prayed about something and felt like the answer you received to your prayer was a rough answer? One that you couldn’t believe could come from God?
In Matthew 15, we read the story of a woman who needed help for a daughter who is suffering terribly. She is a Canaanite, which means she was not of Israeli descent. She goes to Jesus and asks for help for her daughter. Have you noticed how Jesus responded?
At first, He didn’t respond at all. The Bible says in verse 23, “Jesus did not answer a word.” Can you relate? She was so persistent that Jesus’ disciples came to Him and asked Him to send her away so that she will shut up!
Jesus answer to her continued inquiry?
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” Tough enough, but it gets worse. When the woman comes to Jesus and kneels before Him and cries out, “Lord, help me!”, He gives not just a tough response but a rough one.
“It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” Ouch!!!!! When was the last time Jesus called you a dog?
Jesus will do what seems to us to be some very cruel things to get us to die to our flesh and depend totally upon Him. The woman humbly responded, “Your right, Lord, I don’t deserve to have you do anything for me. I’m just depending upon your mercy. Without you “dropping” something my way, I’m lost and so is my family!”
That’s Parkey’s paraphrase not yet in print, but it captures the essence of the moment!
Jesus is not lacking in compassion. In response to her humility, Jesus says to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed.
Jesus is all knowing and makes decisions that are way beyond our understanding. We are enamored with our ability to judge right from wrong and therefore, want to put Jesus on trial for His responses. How arrogant of us!
Even if His answer appears rough, I, like the Canaanite woman must realize that I don’t deserve anything benevolent from Him and He certainly doesn’t owe me an explanation. But, if I remain humble, nothing can stop His will for my life and my faith becomes strong.
Received what appears to be a rough answer from Jesus?
Stay humble. Jesus cannot change. He is and will remain compassionate as He deals with you. Trust His “soft” and “rough” ways. Both are intended for your good!